Biden administration unveils new green card design with eye on enhanced security

The Biden administration released a new design for Permanent Resident Cards, also known as green cards, and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), adding a series of new security measures for the immigration documents.

The new cards will be issued by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as of Monday; older cards will remain valid until their expiration date.

“This redesign further demonstrates USCIS’ commitment to taking a proactive approach against the threat of secure document tampering, counterfeiting, and fraud,” said USCIS Director Ur Jaddou in a statement.

“Consistent updates to secure documents, informed by our knowledge of the latest methods of bad actors and the innovation and ingenuity of our staff, ensure the continued integrity of secure documents issued by our agency.”

Permanent Resident Cards and EADs serve as proof of authorization to work in the United States for qualifying immigrants.

Green cards are granted to legal permanent residents, a majority of whom are eligible to apply for citizenship. EADs are granted to foreign nationals who can work but don’t have a temporary work visa, such as recently graduated higher education students, green card applicants, asylum-seekers and refugees.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, there are almost 13 million legal permanent residents in the United States — that number declined by 1.7 percent from 2021 to 2022 as more permanent residents chose to pursue naturalization.

The new green cards and EADs will have “improved detailed artwork,” as well as upgrades to holographic images and optically variable ink, and the arrangement of data fields will change from current cards.

USCIS will run through its stock of existing cards before issuing the new model, meaning some cards printed from Monday onwards will still be of the previous generation.

Although existing cards will remain valid, USCIS is encouraging people who have older models without expiration dates to apply for a replacement in order to prevent fraud if the older card is ever lost or stolen.

According to USCIS, the current card design was introduced in May 2017, and the agency aims to issue redesigns every three to five years as part of its fraud prevention program.

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